GHSA Championship Game Recap – Final 2 Days
MACON, GA – The 4-day extravaganza that is the GHSA Finals concluded Saturday with the A-D1 and 7A Boys Finals.
We recap what we saw below (as well as 3A and 6A from Friday):
By: Keith Agran
3A – SANDY CREEK 66, CEDAR GROVE 37
SUMMARY: A valiant playoff run by the Saints, who with stud 2026 Manny Green should be right back in the mix next year, but they ran into a determined and focused Patriot team that got a huge performance from 2024 forward Micah Smith (17 pts, 7 reb), as he affected the game all over the floor and showed once again why his stock is skyrocketing. Another 2024, part of a junior core that will likely have the Pats set as 3A preseason #1 next year and a sure-fire top 10 in the state, added 16 pts with his scalding shooting. Well-drilled disciplined defense ruled the day once again for Creek, a staple of Coach John Michael Nickerson’s teams. It’s the first title in SCHS history.
6A – ALEXANDER 64, LEE COUNTY 42
SUMMARY: It was a day of dominating performances, first with Sandy Creek in 3A, followed by the Cougars taking care of business against a tough and talented crew from Lee County. It was also a monkey-off-the-back kind of day for both 3A SCHS and Alexander, as both brought home their first-ever basketball titles, and put to rest some of the chatter about whether they could win the big one. “Big” is an operative word for the Cougs, as another 2024 star, forward Braedan Lue, was a virtual man among boys in putting up 26 pts and 12 reb against a game but smaller Trojans frontline. A senior class core of Noah Melson, Marvin McGhee and Milan Kennedy welcomed in fellow 2023 transfer Jayquan Nelson this fall, and the talented collective with Lue polished off a championship season at last. Lee County 2025 guard Ousmane Kromah is a name to get to know, whether he’s toting the rock as a high major D1 tailback prospect, or on the hardwood where those same attributes make for a brutally tough guard-package.
A-D1 – KING’S RIDGE 68, MOUNT PISGAH 58
SUMMARY: Speaking of senior cores who got it done, KRCS had the whole winter to wonder about whether they could get back to another A-D1 final (it was A-Private a year ago) after a stinging loss to Greenforest in March of 2022. But they weathered expectations, a tough schedule and some spotty play at points to pull together their best set of performances late in the season, culminating in the school’s first state title. Fulfilling many years of promise, senior forward Micah Hoover went right at region rival Grant Randall and came away with a signature 25 and 8 performance that will ring in Tigers history. Fellow seniors Isaac Martin, Zak Thomas and Jack Thomas were steady and mature in marshaling the win, and Coach Bob Martin can look to 2024 6-10 forward William Jobe and rising 2025 guard Jaydon Cole to be the benchmarks for next season. Pisgah 2025 guard Micah Tucker, hobbled by injury late in the season, fought through again and finished with 19 pts, and he’ll lead returnees Tyson Pittman, Cedric Haynes and Max Tucker (no relation) next season in an attempt to get right back to Macon.
7A – WHEELER 78, CHEROKEE 58
SUMMARY: Epic run to the tile game for a really good Warriors squad, but hitting the brick wall that is Wheeler turned out too tall a task. The stars shined for sure as Wildcat seniors Isaiah Collier and Arrinten Page, both headed off to Southern Cal together this fall, combined for 37 points and had on display the kind of calm and assured quality that has led the ‘Cats to an undefeated record against Georgia competition this season. It’s the 3rd title in 4 years for Coach Larry Thompson and WHS. The CHS key senior class members Cam Pope, Tayden Owens, Dastin Hart, Mason Bennett and Braylin Giddens will be remembered for a long time. For Thompson, he’ll have 2024 sniper Ricky McKenzie back to foster another run, along with 6-10 2024 big man Josh Hill and rising 2026 guard Kota Suttle.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019, and also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
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